July President's Message

By Paula Reeves, AICP CTP

As we dive into our Washington summer, the Chapter has lots of programs, events, and opportunities on the horizon for our members.  A 2015 Event Planning Committee chaired by Laura Hudson, APA Washington Vice President, has been hard at work developing an exciting agenda to mark the 25th Anniversary of our state’s Growth Management Act.  Although the National APA Conference held in Seattle this April is certainly a hard act to follow, this one-day GMA Anniversary Event can do it by presenting a mix of important discussion and debate followed by food and fun at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass.   Save the date of November 13, 2015 and get additional details at the GMA Event webpage. Registration will be opening next week!

Thanks to Nikole Coleman, Communications Co-Chair, for developing our new Events Webpage, where you will find up to date information about all the events going on across the state. 

The Chapter Board has been engaged this month in updating the 2012 Strategic Plan and aligning our management firm’s contract accordingly.  A draft will be sent out to all members for review and comment near the end of July.  Here is a sneak preview of just a few of the new ideas I found most exciting looking ahead:

  • Strengthening our Sections by providing additional resources and services
  • Expanding our influence on state, regional and local planning issues through education and outreach  
  • Increasing our membership and our diversity
  • Increasing and focusing our advocacy efforts, and
  • Continuing to build partnerships with allied professions by expanding the role of our Board Liaison 

You can view the 2015 Chapter Member Survey summary and past Strategic Plans on our Strategic Plan webpage.

Your continued participation in your Section and the Chapter activities are vital to this volunteer driven organization. As I get more engaged in all the work of the Chapter, I am so impressed by the commitment and dedication of our membership.  I was able to join the Inland Empire Section for their conference at Priest Lake, Idaho -  a conference like no other that I highly recommend if you have never attended.  Thank you, Dave Anderson, Inland Empire Section President, for the invitation.  In addition to great speakers, they raised an impressive amount of resources for student planners through their evening auction and managed to get in a volley ball game and a few hikes too. 

I also joined the Northwest Section for their July Planners Forum supported by APA Washington.  This Section’s long time President Jennifer Aylor recently stepped down to take on new challenges, and on behalf of the Chapter, I want to thank her for her time and energy over the past decade+ providing important education and networking opportunities to planners in her Section.  Chris Comeau, APA Washington Secretary, has stepped up to carry on the tradition of coordination as Northwest Section President.     

July also saw the end of the WA legislative session after three special sessions, the longest in our state’s history. Our Legislative Committee Co-Chaired by Esther Larsen, Josh Peters and recently joined by Yorik Stevens, the new Legislative Committee Co-Chair, had to work overtime this year.  Mike Shaw provides a mid-session report in this issue; the August newsletter will provide a summary of the 2015 session, its effects on planning and a look ahead to next year. 

APA Washington Chapter is continuing to increase our engagement with National APA.  I will represent the Chapter on the National APA Education Task Force involved in selecting this year’s Great Places in America.  We have also partnered with the Washington Chapter of the American Public Health Association to support two applications to the Plan4Health Grant Program offered through National APA. 

Finally, it’s time to start thinking about chapter awards again, this year; we’re going to have the awards in October, to coincide with National Community Planning Month. Look for more on this year’s award winners from Award’s Committee Co-Chairs Steve Pilcher and Greg Griffith coming soon!

On a personal note, this is my first newsletter message as incoming Chapter president. I am looking forward to working with all of you to continue the great efforts of Ivan Miller, our past president, as well as the Board and all the committees that give so much to our organization. We are also looking forward to greater outreach to our partner organizations representing landscape architects, architects, developers, and the engineering community. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me. I can be reached at [email protected] and look forward to hearing from you. 

All the best,

Paula Reeves, AICP CTP
President, APA Washington

Return to July issue of The Washington Planner